Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Soccer practice #1 =

A HUGE SUCCESS - and Mommy and Daddy could not be more thankful. After a quick (record fast) supper, leaving the dirty plates and dishes all over the table (David said this used to drive his mom crazy, and I think I will join her! I never experienced this at my house because we mostly ate out all the time!), we loaded our party of six into the Mommy car. We felt we should all be there for Carter's very first soccer practice, the very first practice for our family. (Side note, this will be the last time we all go, ha!) Without any trouble, we found the correct field, met Coach Don, and began our first soccer season! Carter did great! We really didn't know what to expect, and we thought he would be very bashful. He was a little unsure at first, but it took him no time to warm up and jump right into the fun. He followed his Coach's directions very well, met some new friends, and had a blast playing soccer! Check it out for yourself. Take note of that BIG smile on his face! So worth the craziness!

Tilly did not understand why she could not be on the field with Carter. Several times, we had to physically remove her from the field, hence the reason we will not all the attending the rest of his practices, ha! Carter's little sisters sure do adore him. Even Story was awake long enough to enjoy watching big brother play!
Summer had fun kicking her ball on the sidelines and leading Daddy in a series of exercises. I should have gotten a picture of that; it was a sight! He is such a good sport!
Whew! This soccer stuff is hard work!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Team Italy

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to visit here:
I mean, who wouldn't want to? Gorgeous beaches, phenomenal historical sites, delicious food. I could go on. I don't even remember when my love affair for this country began. Maybe it's because so many great novels I have read are set there, and I just imagined myself as one of the characters in the story. Or maybe because some movies I have seen (before children) were set there and I was actually able to see the beauty of Italy. Anyway, if I could go anywhere, I would choose Italy, hands down, no question. However, the chances of me getting there any time soon are slim to none, so in the mean time I will dream and cheer on this little guy, who is the newest member of Team Italy. Coach Don called us this week to let us know that Carter has his very first soccer practice on Monday night, and we couldn't be more excited. We are trying not to hold it against Coach Don that he played soccer at Auburn. As long as he does not teach my little fella to say, "War Eagle," and as long as the team color is not orange, I think we will be okay. The plan for now is for all of us to go and cheer on this cute little soccer player. I will let you know how that turns out! Since I won't be visiting Italy myself any time soon, I will gladly spend my fall cheering for:Team Italy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

So the coolest thing happened tonight.

I need to give you the background and the setting for the story, also known as the mundane details that we girls love to share. David was gone most of the day today working at the church, gutting an old building. That means, I was home, all day with our four little people. Looking back on it, the day went pretty smoothly, actually. Once David came home, we visited for a minute and then we joined our little people who were already fast asleep. Summer, who awoke first, came to wake the rest of us and would you believe it was 4:30?! Have I mentioned before that I heart naps, with a passion? We were planning to go for a swim this afternoon, but that didn't happen. I promise this is going somewhere, so stay with me! I was counting on going swimming to work on my tan of course, but even more importantly to get me out of the house. Since that didn't happen the way we planned, my knight in shining armor came to my rescue, once again. He's often doing that, you know because that's what knights do. After loading up our four little people (which includes enough details for a story of its own), we headed out without any real destination in mind. This drives our oldest crazy. He wants to know where we are going, when we are going to be there, what we are going to do while there, and how long we will be staying! I really have no idea where he gets that from. Isn't it strange how sometimes you see some of your not so attractive traits coming out in your children? We ended up at this place,
which was fine by me! We love Moe's! After enjoying our family supper, and meeting lots of stares (Yes, they are all ours; yes, we are family of six; yes, it was planned! Ha!), we headed home. I get so tickled when we go out in public because it's like we are our very own sideshow sometimes. Thank goodness our children are well-behaved for the most part, ha!
Okay, so this is when the cool thing happened, not that the other parts of our story aren't cool. We were less than a mile from home, when the bottom fell out of the sky. It started rain hard, big drops. The kind you just want to run out and play or dance in. A then, just before our very eyes, we saw this. . .
Sadly, we don't live on a tropical island, but I wanted a picture that showed the entire rainbow. It was beautiful, and the children were so excited.
The best part, it just so happened that the path to lead us home, took us right under the rainbow, amazing! I don't know that I've ever done that before. David made the statement, "Maybe this means, great things are just around the corner!"
Thank you, Lord, for allowing our family to see for ourselves a glimpse of Your greatness, a reminder of all of Your promises to us, and your deep love for us. We are sorry that we needed the reminder, but we are grateful You provided.

Fun Friday with our family.

I love love love Fridays! David is home from work, for the most part, and we just get to be together as a family. Most Fridays, we don't do anything extra special just being together. Today, we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner all together at the table! After reading this book last year, I have been convicted of the importance of family time around the table. So, this summer I have made it my mission to get all of us around the table every day for at least one meal. And you know what, it's been pretty AWESOME! Tonight, after supper we went outside to play. It is unusual for Story to be awake during this time, but she was and joined in on the fun! I snapped a few pictures of the children playing. It's hard to believe that our summer is quickly coming to an end. In the meantime, we are trying to savor every moment.

Don't let Tilly's "jamas" fool you! It is HOT here!! She insisted on wearing them today, so I let her! Thanks, Juie and Court!
Summer is getting ready for soccer season! Carter's first practice is next week; we are so excited!
Even Hundley came out to play!
Mommy and Story. So thankful for this laid back, easy-going babe!
They love to be outside. Thankful it is finally cooler so we are able to get out more.
Tilly getting ready for her placekick!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back to school hair cuts.

Monday, we all went for back to school hair cuts. Some were just a wee more drastic than others, ha! I called Miss Lou, the sweet lady who cuts our hair when we were on our way over. I said, "I just wanted to warn you, we are all coming, and I don't want to overwhelm you!" She just laughed and told us to come on! Miss Lou cuts our hair in her home. Her husband, Mr. JB, helped to build her a salon in the basement of their home. It is awesome!
Carter getting a trim. I love his curly hair, so we didn't cut too much, just enough to meet dress code at school, ha!
Summer's hair has taken forever to grow, and it appears that Tilly and Story are going to follow suit. Miss Lou suggested that we blunt cut it, to help it look fuller and grow. Summer was such a good sport, so brave!
She looks so different to me! All grown up and ready for school!
Tilly assumed she was getting her hair cut too. Miss Lou was such a good sport because obviously Tilly does not really need a hair cut, but she snipped a few times anyway for good measure!
As you can see, it was worth the extra effort because Tilly's smile was definitely a sight to behold! My Tilly girl loves to see herself in the mirror. Sometimes, we will hear her down the hall having a party in front of the mirror; she's a hoot!
And here's a picture of Story, just because she is so stinkin' cute! You can't really see her pajamas, but it reads Georgia baby. She is the fourth of our children to wear it. Speaking of, it's almost time to watch the bulldawgs play!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

3 & 4

It's hard to believe we have a 3 and a 4 year old. How can it be? Regardless of how badly I want time to stop or slow down, it doesn't and the children continue to grow up way too fast. Carter and Summer both celebrated birthdays this summertime. Carter turned four on May 27, and Summer turned three on July 17. Yesterday, David took both of them for their checkups with Dr. G. Here's what they're up to at their respective ages:

  • Weight 40 lbs, 75%.
  • Height 43.5 in, 95%.
  • Passed hearing and eye screening.
  • Will begin his 3rd year in preschool at The Heiskell School in a couple of weeks.
  • Signed up to play soccer for the first time this fall.
  • Knows his letters, their sounds, and how to write them.
  • Loves to sing songs and read books.
  • He loves music. We were at a friend's house recently and he picked up a toy guitar and played it like he knew what he was doing!
  • Has traveled to 7 states.
  • Loves to watch Super Why, Dinosaur Train, and Sid the Science Kid.
  • Loves to swim.
  • Loves to eat raw fruits and vegetables. Would probably be vegan, if we let him!
  • Has a very sweet heart towards his family and friends.
  • Prays the sweetest prayers.
  • Quite the sense of humor. When I got my hair cut this week, Carter had someone in mind to give it to because he does not have any hair! David and I were rolling!
  • Takes wonderful care of his little sisters.
  • Weight 38 lbs, 97%.
  • Height 41 in, off the chart, but not as far off the chart as she was at two!
  • Will begin her second year of preschool at The Heiskell School this fall.
  • Will play soccer for the first time this fall.
  • Will begin to take ballet at our school for the first time, she's so excited to be a ballerina.
  • Has traveled to 6 states.
  • Knows her shapes, colors, recognizes her name.
  • Loves to have her fingers and toes painted.
  • Loves to sing and dance.
  • Loves to watch Angelina Ballerina and Barney.
  • Loves to eat fruit and vegetables. Right now bell pepper is her favorite and cherry tomatoes from our garden.
  • Loves to exercise with me. She uses the tubes from the paper towel holders for her weights!
  • Has a terrific, carefree attitude, just walks to her own beat. We love that about her!
  • Talks in the most country girl, southern accent you have ever heard. I never knew so many one syllable words could have two syllables! I don't know where she gets that from, ha!
  • Adores her big brother and little sisters!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Locks of Love

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to give my hair away to locks of love. If you have a minute, check out their site, it will bless your socks off. About this time last year, we learned that we were expecting Story. I decided this would be the perfect time to grow my hair out to give away, what with all the vitamins and pregnancy hormones! Pregnant hair is the best! So, I embarked on this new journey. I had my hair trimmed 3 times throughout the year in order to get rid of split ends and to encourage growth. A precious lady in our church, Miss Lou, has been cutting my hair for the last few years and she has graciously journeyed with me. I chickened out several times, actually! She was so patient with me every time.
Well, Monday was the big day. I think David was more excited than me. He was precious, in fact! He had this big ole silly grin on his face, and he was snapping pictures left and right. It was the sweetest thing. So, as you can see here is the before picture. My hair was really long when we got married, but I have never had it quite this long. I have also worn my hair short before (during our seminary days), but I have never been brave enough to cut it all at once.
David working the camera. It was the strangest feeling when she snipped off the whole pony tail, like a huge weight lifted. Have you ever gone through a tough season and had your hair cut and just felt like some dead weight was gone? What a freeing feeling!
Miss Lou cut just over 12 inches, maybe closer to 13. Measuring from the rubber band of my pony tail in the top picture to the bottom of my hair was 15 inches. I wanted to still be able to wear a pony tail when necessary, but I wanted to give as much as possible, knowing that anything over 10 inches would be all the better.
That's a pretty good looking pony tail don't you think? It was so strange to see all of my hair lying on the table. The children were hysterical. They kept asking me where my pony tail was. I thought they were referring to my hair, but Summer was really upset that I was losing an actual pony tail holder! Ha! Don't worry, Summer, I promise we have plenty of pony tail holders. David really loves it. He prefers my hair shorter, I think. In fact, I mentioned before that my hair was quite long when we got married, and I remember shortly after the honeymoon him asking me when I was going to cut my hair, hmmm. That should have been my first clue!
Well, here's the finished product in all its glory. I'm really thankful to have accomplished this endeavor, and I hope that some precious little person will be pleased with their new hair.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tilly's Two Year Stats

Today, I took Tilly to see Dr. G. for her two year check up. I'm still trying to wrap by brain around the fact that she is really two, wow! This is the text I sent David today during her visit:
Weight 26 pounds, 40%; height 36 inches, 95 %. Heart and lungs look great. She's perfect in every way, except that little thing we call her sin nature!
Tilly got a great report from Dr. G. He was encouraging as always, and just makes us feel like we are the greatest parents in the world, when in fact we are not! We have so much to learn, but we sure do love the gift of parenting our four.
I took these pictures of Tilly today when we got back from the doctor. She got two shots and had her finger pricked. She cried for about 10 seconds after the shots, and the finger prick did not even phase her. She was more excited about the shiny band-aid she was getting!
Here is what Tilly is up to at two years of age:
  • Weight - 26 pounds, 40%
  • Height - 36 inches, 95%
  • Walking, running, jumping, skipping, dancing (girl's got some soul from somewhere)
  • Talking really well. Speaks in complete sentences, ask questions, sings songs.
  • Knows her ABCs.
  • Can count 1-5 really well, working on 1-10.
  • Loves Barney and Curious George.
  • POTTY TRAINED!!!! Can you hear the angel chorus singing?? This mommy is so thankful to have a break from potty training for at least one summer, ha!
  • Can undress herself and beginning to be able to dress herself.
  • Can take shoes on and off herself.
  • Feeds herself with a fork and spoon.
  • Loves to eat.
  • Loves milk and lemonade. (I wish you could hear her say lemonade!)
  • Loves Carter, Summer, and Story.
  • Loves for you to read to her.
  • Learning to pray independently.
  • Loves to have her fingers and toes painted.
  • Still waiting on the need for that first haircut.
  • Very sweet, and very strong-willed.
  • We love her just the way God made her!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dear Miss Courtney,

We have had so much fun playing with you this summer. Thank you for bravely keeping all four of us, so Mommy and Daddy can go on dates or do things that grown ups have to do. We are going to miss you so much when you go back to college next week. Please come back soon; we promise we will be sweet!
We love you,
Carter, Summer, Tilly, and Story

Saturday, August 21, 2010

With love from Arkansas

Earlier this week, Tilly received a BIG box in the mail from Papa and Gigi, who live in Arkansas. We saved the box until her actual birthday, boy was she excited to open her pink presents! Thank you, Papa and Gigi, for making our Tilly girl's day even more special!
We love you and miss you!
Tilly checking out the baby bottle. She has been trying to feed it to Story all week!
Tilly is so chill, she let Carter and Summer help her open the presents. All week she has been completely oblivious that this is about her. I hope she will always be that way!
Summer and Carter were so excited about Tilly's new gifts.
The birthday girl getting ready to call her Papa!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A birthday celebration

Well, I warned you that we would be celebrating Tilly's birthday ALL week, and we have, even today! Chicken minis are one of Tilly's absolute favorite treats; you should hear her say it, cute beyond words! And since the children slept until 9:00 yesterday morning (I know, it was awesome!) we did not get them on her actual birthday, so we made up for that this morning. After breakfast at CFA, better known at our house as Fic-Chil-A, we headed to Jump for Joeys to burn off some energy and sugar, ha! However, last night, we gathered together with a precious family, The Whitmires. Tilly and Miss Jeanne (Momma Whitmire) share the same birthday, and last year we began the tradition of celebrating together. When Daddy came home from work, we loaded our party of six into the mommy car and headed out to their home. Besides the wonderful fellowship, we enjoyed some yummy food, including cake and ice cream! Thank you, Whitmire family, for welcoming us into your home. We love you!
Sweet birthday girl!
Big Sister, who still thought this party was all about her, what are we going to do?!?
Carter loves sweets, loves them!
Our stellar hosts!
Happy birthday, sweet Tilly! We love you!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tilly Brooke is turning two!

Tilly Brooke O'Dell, you were born on August 19, 2008, at 4:48 PM at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. You weighed 8 pounds and 20.5 inches long. The same midwife who delivered Carter, Summer, and Story delivered you too!
You made this face the very first time I held you, and to this day you continue to make the same face, especially when you are sleepy or deep in thought.
I love this picture of Carter and Summer meeting you for the very first time. They were so excited to meet you. Now, you are no longer their baby sister, but their playmate, which is sweet most of the time. Just between us though, sometimes I think they are afraid of you because you are so very tough, often like a bull in a china shop!
Here you are at almost one month of age. These two years of your life have gone by so very fast, almost too fast for your mommy!
This picture was taken when you had surgery in November. Mommy and Daddy will one day sit down with you and tell you all about it. I love this picture because it is the first time I was able to capture your sweet smile on camera. How ironic that we were in the hospital awaiting surgery, I think not! The Lord knew I needed to see your sweet smile on this very day.
This picture was taken at the FBC Austell 1st annual Easter egg hunt. You were the only one of your siblings who would have their picture made with the bunny!
Mommy and her babies on Easter Sunday 2009. Story was not even a thought in our heads yet, isn't it amazing that God already knew her and was planning her arrival into our family?
You look so sweet here with your two bottom teeth. I remember this day vividly. I let all 3 of you stay in your pajamas all day! What a treat, we should do that more often.
This was your first trip to the Varsity. I love this picture because it shows your 4 teeth. You, like Carter and Summer, got your fang teeth (as we call them) on top first rather than your two middle teeth. We can't wait to see if Story will do the same.
Daddy took this picture of us at the beach. I was singing "Jesus loves me" to you. That song was such a comfort to me before and after your surgery.
"Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong."
You were agitated, and the sound of the ocean and wind put you right to sleep in my arms. I loved every minute of it!
We took you, Carter, and Summer to the Mall of Georgia to meet up with the Hollands, along with Mama and T. You had such a fun time on the playground. I love this little smirk on your face.
My cowboy and two princesses.
You were dressed as Tinker Bell for the FBC Austell Fall Festival 2009.
This was taken at your first birthday party by my sweet friend and teaching partner, Miss Erica. It's hard to believe a year has passed already since that picture was taken.
The Heiskell School Fall Festival October 2009
You are no longer the baby of the family, but have been given the important role of being the big sister to Story. Already you are so sweet and surprisingly gentle with her. You love to bring her your lovey and toys to play with. You love to help me feed and burp her. I pray you two will grow up to be sweet friends.
This summer (2010) I took you to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital for a follow up ultrasound after your surgery. The cyst on your healthy ovary has gotten smaller, and you have been released from your pediatric surgeon's care. What a praise of His healing and mercy on our family!
Happy 2nd birthday, sweet Tilly!
Mommy and Daddy love you so very much, as do Carter, Summer, and Story. Thank you for bringing so much joy and laughter into our home just by being you. It is a treat to watch you interact with your siblings. I love that you still like for me to hold you and tuck you in at night. We pray that the Lord will capture your heart at an early age and that you will glorify Him with your sweet little life.